Hearing aids have come a very long way from the devices my grandfather wore. He had these large beige contraptions sitting on top of his ears. He would fiddle with them. He was always adjusting the volume, and if he wasn’t doing that then he would take them out and rub his ears then put them back in. I also remember that he was constantly looking for batteries for his hearing aids. It was the fact that hearing aids were so cumbersome and uncomfortable that they developed a bad image.
Thank goodness that today hearing aids are small, comfortable and ergonomic devices. They can be worn all day without the slightest bother. In fact, what people most like about their hearing aids is that it doesn’t feel like they are wearing any.
However, until recently one problem my grandfather experienced still persisted – the battery! Depending on the make and model of the hearing aid, the battery needs to be replaced as often as every five days. Batteries are notoriously small and can be fiddly to replace. For many people it is the fact they have to change batteries that make them resist getting or wearing hearing aids.
Rechargeable hearing aid batteries have been around for many years. However, one big drawback was they did not last the day. After eight months the batteries needed replacing as their charging capability was significantly reduced.
Rechargeable Hearing Aids Come of Age
This week I was shown a remarkable new hearing aid, the Phonak Audeo B-R. This device is the first hearing aid with a built in lithium battery. The device is capable of being used all day from one full charge. Furthermore, the device is capable of over 1500 charge cycles before the battery needs replacing! That is over four years of recharging!
The benefits of this new battery technology cannot be overstated. People with poor dexterity skills or limited vision now have one less thing to worry about when using a hearing aid. No more fiddling with batteries and it’s better for the environment!